Upper Svaneti with Ushguli – Skitour / Freeride Trip 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In winter, the whole of Svaneti is completely different from the summer season. There are almost no random tourists, there are no coaches or roundtrips. This is due to the harsh conditions and difficult access road, which likes to be impassable after heavy snowfall. After Gudauri, Svanetia is the second largest winter sports centre in Georgia - we love it thanks to its almost unlimited possibilities. We are guided primarily by safety, but riding backcountry, freeride and skitting carries some risk, so as not to underestimate it, we adapt to the prevailing conditions and strictly follow the rules. Our participants unconditionally need to have avalanche sets (detector, probe, shovel) and know how to use them. We would like to point out at the beginning that the offer you are just browsing can be modified on an ongoing basis depending on the level of technical skills and the condition of the group and the current snow conditions. We are flexible, the dates are given for the standard offer but can be changed for groups of interested. Do you have a team of friends and other preferred dates? Write to us, we will try to arrange a program for you.

Detailed schedule:

Day 1

Transfer from Kutaisi airport to Mestia. The journey in winter, even though it takes only 240km, takes about 6 hours, although we remember the situations when we drove much longer - snow chains went in motion. We are accommodated in our guesthouse, dinner. Presentation of plans for the next days, discussion of the rules of movement, safety issues.

Day 2

After breakfast and quick check-in, we prepare the equipment and directly from our guesthouse we go on a technically simple but physically demanding tour towards the lakes Koruldi. We have to overcome at least 700m of elevation (up to 2200m). If they want, we can go even higher, even at 2700m. We will go down pastures and meadows, where animals graze in summer. It is not a difficult or avalanche-endangered route, but on the first day after the journey it is optimal. In addition, we will test our skills, knowledge of winter movement in the mountains and the prevailing snow conditions. After the descent a bus will be waiting for us, which will take us for the night. We will finish with dinner.

Day 3

Breakfast and briefing and then we have for you an interesting and very little known tour to the ridge of Kakhiani Peak (3706m). This is the second so high mountain (just after Banguriani 3885m), which can be seen from almost every street in Mestia. We will not reach the top, because it is quite difficult (PD on an alpine scale) and impossible to get without taking off the skis. We will descend from around 3000m, from the ridge on which we will climb in the direction of the summit from morning hours. Our descent will run to the north and north-west, slopes and coluirs, and then wooded terrain will descend to the waiting for us car. Dinner at the end of the day.

Day 4

We don't give up on the level of fun. After breakfast we will get into an off-road car, which will take us to the place where he took us after the first round. From there along a straight road we will go first to the pastures overlooking Mestia and then we will go to the side of the Koruldi peak, more precisely to the pass of 3300m. From the pass awaits us quite a treat, some 1700m of elevation without taking off the skis, after northern exhibitions until the stream Chaaladi, flowing from  the glacier of the same name, which has its beginning under all known Ushba. The views of today will be phenomenal, we will see the main range of the Caucasus with peaks such as the two peaks of Ushba and the surrounding Chatyn-Tau. It is a heavy turn with a long but not demanding approach (except at the end of 50 meters where you have to take off your skis and then climb up the ridge) and quite demanding downhill. It will certainly take us a day from early morning to late afternoon. After the descent the off-road car will come after us and take us for dinner and accommodation.

Day 5

After breakfast we go about 45 kilometers to Ushguli. It will be time for regeneration after the previous exhausting day. Considered to be the highest located settlement in Europe (2200m), virtually all built with characteristic for the region defensive towers, Ushguli is very inaccessible even today. The access road is mostly unasphaltic and it is almost impossible to get to the settlement without a 4x4 car. In case of heavy rainfall the road may be closed, which will result in a change our plans. After dropping unnecessary equipment in the guesthouse, we will go on a tour towards the Gvibari Pass (2972m). This is a turn of medium technical difficulty, but the descent is very satisfying thanks to an almost constant gradient of 25-30 degrees (slightly more at the pass itself, depending on the variant). Descent on the approach way on the northern and north-western slopes to Ushguli. Dinner in the evening.

Day 6

Another exciting day to start with breakfast. Our skitour will be heading towards the highest peak in Georgia, Skhara 5193m. Through the valley, which flows through the glacial streams we will head north and then we will turn west, to the pass under the summit of Karetta Peak. If the group will have the will and skills we can try to reach the top of the Karetta (3524m). Descent from it will provide an unforgettable experience, a steep slope (average above 30 degrees) and a large area of slopes is something that every freerider is waiting for. We hope for a quick downhill ride in a beautiful style and return for a meal.

Day 7

The last day of the ride will start traditionally with breakfast. After that we will go on exploring the next bands over Ushguli. Depending on the snow conditions, we can offer north-western or north-eastern exhibitions of 3,000 m peaks (e.g. Mount Lagem 3242m) surrounding the village. After the tour we will return to the guesthouse for a farewell dinner.

Day 8

The next day, breakfast in a traditional Georgian house, packing and transfer to the airport in Kutaisi.

Cost of participation:

719 euro/person

Included: 

  • transfers listed in the specific programme (Kutaisi Airport - Mestia - Zabeshi - Zhumari Airport - Kutaisi Airport)

  • any shuttle transfers required by the above program

  • accommodation (7 nights in guesthouses, rooms 2-3 persons with shared bathroom)

  • meals according to the program (breakfast and dinner)

  • local guide plus a group leader for each day of difficult terrain

  • technical support - we have several sets of skis + seals, in emergency situations (e.g. a malfunction) we will gladly make them available to the participants

 

Not included:

  • flight to Kutaisi where the party begins (if your flight arrives in Tbilisi we will tell you how to get to us)

  • insurance (we suggest you buy a year-round such as Alpenverein cove for activities including sports considered as extreme)

  • drinks not served during meals and meals for excursions

  • the physical condition of the participants

  • weather, although we will set our plan so as to take advantage of the conditions to the maximum.

  • ABC avalanche sets

*Available dates:

  • 12.01-19.01.2020

  • 02.02-09.02.2020

  • 15.02-23.02.2020

  • 29.02-08.03.2020

  • 14.03-22.03.2020

*We emphasize that the dates are not rigid! If you have other suggestions, we will try to adapt to them.

An advance payment of 250 Euros is required for registration.

 

 

groups of 4-6 people

accomodation

transfers 

meals

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